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Race Day 4 of the Gloucestershire Cross Country League - Saturday 17 February 2024

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Race Day 4 of the Gloucestershire Cross Country League - Saturday 17 February 2024 - Hosted by Cheltenham Harriers at Pittville Park, Cheltenham

On a balmy and dry Saturday, teams from all over the County (and Bath!) descended on Pittville Park for the fourth and final race day of the Gloucestershire Cross Country season. Back on home turf, there was a good turnout from CLC Striders – and plenty of support and encouragement around the course – with its undulating terrain, tricky woodland section and infamous stream crossing on each lap.

As usual, it was the ladies who raced first. And, as has been the case all season, a determined Helen Knight finished first for the club in 16th place overall and as 2nd in her LV40 category. Just five seconds behind her, Kate Telford – only a fortnight away from racing in the Tokyo marathon – finished in 17th overall and as 1st in her LV35 category. Next home for the club was Liza Bradshaw in 29th overall and as 4th in the LV40 category and Rachel Vines was 39th overall and 7th in the LV40 category.

Also running really well on the day were Fiona Brady-Miller and Steph Parker – finishing 4th and 6th respectively in their LV45 age category. Amelia Mullins, 4th in her LV50 category, Laura Leaver, Emma Abbey, Rebecca Reynolds, Julia Rose and Nicola Weager. On the day, the Ladies finished 3rd in the Open team competition, but were the 1st Masters team standings. Overall for the season, they finished as the 2nd Open and Masters team – both behind Bath AC (so technically, as the first team strictly in the County if not the league).

Special mention for David James, who also raced in the Ladies event as an MV70 competitor, putting in a gritty performance and claiming 1st place in his category on the day – as well as the MV70 silver medal for the whole season.

Finally, it was the men, who were led home by second-claim Max Harrison-Tosatto in 19th place overall, followed closely by Rob Green in 20th overall but as 1st in his MV40 category. Also inside the top 50 was Tom Burgess who finished in 48th overall. The ever-improving Richard Aarons and Liam Richardson completed their first season of cross country with CLC Striders by finishing 59th and 85th on the day, with MV55 vets Gary Farquharson and Paul Northup also finishing just inside the top 100.

Joel Freeland, Jack Wilde and Eoin McQuone also battled hard to finish for the club on the day. Overall the CLC Striders Men finished as 9th in the Open team competition and as the 6th Masters team. But across the season, CLC Striders were 6th in the Open standings and 5th in the Masters.

Individual CLC Striders medallists at the end of the season were Rob Green and Kate Telford with gold in their MV40 and LV35 categories, Helen Knight and David James with silver in their LV40 and MV70 categories and bronze for Amelia Mullins in her LV50 category.

All in all, it was another good season for CLC Striders in their local cross-country league – especially for the ladies, who continue to be the dominant force in County cross country running.

The ladies XC team

The Ladies team (plus MV70 Vet David James) From left to right, back row: David James, Emma Abbey, Julia Rose, Liza Bradshaw, Nicola Weager, Helen Knight and Amelia Mullins From left to right, front row: Rachel Vines, Laura leaver, Fiona Brady-Miller, Steph Parker, Rebecca Reynolds and Kate Telford (Context for the photo: they were sharing a birthday cake for Rachel Vines’ birthday!)

The mens XC team

The Men’s team From left to right, back row: Paul Northup, Max Harrison-Tosatto, Jack Wilde, Tom Burgess, Rob Green and Richard Aarons From left to right, front row: Eoin McQuone, Aled Leaver, Joel Freeland and Liam Richardson